Monday, March 4, 2013
12:00 AM | Posted by Ashley G. |
Today I am lucky enough to have an excerpt from Dented Cans by Heather Walsh. Heather was also kind enough to offer an ecopy of her book to one reader so be sure to read the excerpt and if you like what you read enter the giveaway below!
A family secret is revealed during an ill-fated—yet hilarious—trip to Disney World.
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Sampson knows her family is not what you would call normal. Her father compulsively buys dented cans and has a particular fondness for cans without labels, which are extremely discounted because their contents are a mystery. Her mother takes countless pictures of her family and then glues them down into the pages of her scrapbooks, but does not allow anyone to look at them. Ryan, Hannah’s mischievous fourteen-year-old brother, is headed straight for the remedial track at the local community college, if he’s lucky. Ben, her eight-year-old brother, is a walking sound effects machine, who prefers to communicate with noises rather than words. While Hannah is focused on escaping her working-class Connecticut suburb, she also finds herself being tugged back home as she worries about her brother Ben.
Hannah’s parents inflict one last family vacation on the Sampson children, a trip that goes comically wrong almost from the get-go. Hannah is forced to confront her family’s past in Disney World, of all places, when an emotional argument prompts her parents to disclose a secret they have been keeping from the children for sixteen years. Ultimately, she must decide whether to leave her hometown and not look back, or to focus on helping her family.
Excerpt from Dented Cans
Here is a brief sample, during the trip to Disney World. This is in
the voice of Hannah, the narrator of the novel.
We did a few more rides, and then we went to the World Showcase, the
section of EPCOT that consisted of pavilions “showcasing” various
countries. In reality just a bunch of overpriced restaurants and gaudy
gift shops “hawking” ethnic food and trinkets. Before we were allowed
to eat lunch, we had to locate a restroom so we could rid our hands of
the thousands of germs that only Dad had the ability to detect. Then
we spread out across two benches in Italy right next to Alfredo’s
Restaurant, where people who actually purchased their food went to
eat. It was a good thing we’d brought our own peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches. That and chicken fingers would have probably been a hard
ethnic cuisine to place. Maybe the Nutritionally Defunct Pavilion?
Mom began passing out the sandwiches. I felt as if I shouldn’t eat
mine, knowing the hard work that went into making it.
“This World Showcase is so boring,” Ryan said.
“This World Showcase is so stereotyped,” I said. “Who knew the only
thing Italians do is listen to ‘O Solo Mio’ while they eat spaghetti
and meatballs? And if you’re German, you obviously dance the polka.
Half of it isn’t even true.”
“Yeah, I didn’t know that Mexicans just hit piñatas all day. And you
can buy your own to whack for just 19.99,” Ryan said.
“Hannah, stop questioning everything. Just try to enjoy it,” Dad said.
Stop questioning everything. I think Dad was just quoting Socrates
there. Didn’t he say that? My fellow Greeks, stop questioning
everything. Just enjoy. Enjoy EPCOT.
“OK, I won’t point out that Africa, the second largest continent on
the planet, isn’t even represented here,” I said.
“We’ve heard enough of your opinion on the matter. Can you please just
let your younger brother enjoy this?” Dad said.
Sure. I could keep the truth to myself. Socrates and I were kindred
spirits. Perhaps Dad had some hemlock for me to drink?
“Did you bring any canned peaches for dessert?” Ryan said.
“OK, very funny,” Dad said.
Buy Dented Cans
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